Sample Some of Vegan’s Best in NYC

If you’re considering a plant-based diet—to improve your training, to avoid eating and harming animals, and to benefit the planet and your personal health—treat yourself to a few vegan meals this week in New York City.

Some elite athletes, such as ultramarathon runner Scott Jurek, have been singing the praises of veganism for years. Jurek, author of “Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to
Ultramarathon Greatness,” shares some mouth-watering plant-based recipes on his website and more in the book. But you won’t know how good vegan can be until you taste animal-free foods for yourself.

These days, with an explosion of vegan options in grocery stores, co-ops, health food shops and restaurants, you don’t have to sacrifice taste or variety to avoid animal products. So while you’re in the city, recovering from the marathon, what better time than now to check out some of the best vegan in the nation. Expand your food and fuel horizons and see what’s possible when creative chefs meet colorful, flavorful, nutrient-packed plants.

Blossom: With two Manhattan locations (Chelsea and Columbus), Blossom offers sit-down dining in small, intimae spaces. The fresh, organic ingredients (also certified Kosher) come from local farms and small distribution companies, and all dishes are completely animal-free. The offerings are paired carefully with an extensive wine list. Menu favorites: tofu BLT and seitan scallopini.

by Chloe: Playful, casual and fun, by Chloe offers a vegan menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. Customers order at the counter and delight in the restaurant’s colorful décor and eco-friendly packaging. By Chloe has a half-dozen locations in the city. Try the detox kale salad and house-made burgers—patties and condiments are all made from scratch, in-house, as are the amazing chocolate-chip cookies.

Dirt Candy: Want to take a deep dive into plant dining? Try it here, with two prix fixe options: The Vegetable Patch ($57, tip included) with about five courses of menu favorites; or the Vegetable Garden ($83, tip included) with nine or 10 courses from a seasonal menu. Starting in September, Dirt Candy stopped offering a la carte menu options at dinner, but you won’t be disappointed with the vegetable party offerings now. The dishes are all vegetarian; request vegan from your server. To whet your appetite: popcorn beets, jalapeno hush puppies, Korean fried broccoli and kale matzoh ball soup.

Avant Garden: At this upscale restaurant, Chef Tony Mongeluzzi works under the premise that vegetables can simply be vegetables—they don’t have to try to be fake chicken, for example. He combines various greens, veggies, fruits, grains, nuts, legumes, herbs and spices in delightfully creative and delectable ways. The dishes are also simply beautiful—a work of art on your plate with each course. Try the scorched cauliflower or roasted carrot dishes, and you’ll never look at those standard veggies in the same way again.

Dovetail: Located near the American Museum of Natural History and Central Park on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Dovetail offers vegan menus every night of the week. Monday is the vegetarian prix fixe menu, four courses for $68. Chef John Fraser’s award-winning contemporary American cuisine uses seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients. From the Monday menu: watermelon and radish, basil risotto and bittersweet chocolate soufflé.